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Country: France
Region: Upper-Normandy
Blason of the City
More Information:
CS Group Wikipedia


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Rouen is a city in France, the historical capital city of Normandy, in northwestern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie (Upper-Normandy) region. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th century to the 15th century. It was in Rouen where Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431. People from Rouen are called Rouennais.

The population of the metropolitan area (in French: aire urbaine) at the 1999 census was 518,316 inhabitants and 541,410 inhabitants at the 2007 estimate. The city proper has an estimated population of 109,000 in 2007.


Rouen was founded by the Gaulish tribe of the Veliocassi, who controlled a large area in the lower Seine valley. They called it Ratumacos, the Romans called it Rotomagus. Roman Rotomagus was the second city of Gallia Lugdunensis after Lugdunum (Lyon) itself. Under the reorganization of Diocletian, Rouen was the chief city of the divided province Gallia Lugdunensis II and reached the apogee of its Roman development, with an amphitheatre and thermae of which foundations remain. In the fifth century it became the seat of a bishopric, though the names of early bishops are purely legendary and later a capital of Merovingian Neustria.

From their first incursion in the lower valley of the Seine in 841, the Normans overran Rouen; from 912 Rouen was the capital of the Duchy of Normandy and residence of the duke of Normandy until William the Conqueror established his castle at Caen.

In 1150 Rouen received its founding charter, permitting self-government. During the twelfth century Rouen was the site of a yeshiva; at that time, about 6,000 Jews lived in the town, comprising about 20% of the population, in addition to a large number of Jews scattered about another 100 communities in Normandy. The well-preserved remains of the yeshiva were discovered in the 1970s under the Rouen Law Courts, and the community has begun a project to restore them.

In 1200 a fire destroyed a part of the old cathedral and the present Gothic mainworks for the Cathedral of Rouen were begun. On June 24, 1204 Philippe Auguste entered Rouen and definitively annexed Normandy to the France in the Middle Ages. He demolished the Norman castle and replaced it with his own, the Château Bouvreuil, built on the site of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre. A textile industry developed, based on wool imported from England, for which the cities of Flanders and Brabant were constantly competitors, and finding its market in the Champagne fairs. Rouen depended for its prosperity also on the river traffic of the Seine, of which it enjoyed a monopoly that reached as far upstream as Paris. Wine and wheat were exported to England, as tin and wool received in return. In the fourteenth century urban strife threatened the city: in 1291 the mayor was assassinated and noble residences in the city were pillaged. Philip IV of France reimposed order and suppressed the city's charter and the lucrative monopoly on river traffic; but he was quite willing for the Rouennais to repurchase their old liberties in 1294. In 1306 he decided to expel the Jewish community of Rouen, then numbering some five or six thousands. In 1389 another urban revolt of the underclass occurred, the Harelle; it was part of widespread rebellion in France that year and was suppressed with the withdrawal of Rouen's charter and river-traffic privileges once more.

During the Hundred Years' War, on January 19, 1419, Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England, who annexed Normandy once again to the Plantagenet domains. But Rouen did not go quietly: Alan Blanchard hung English prisoners from the walls, for which he was summarily executed; Canon of Rouen Robert de Livet became a hero for excommunicating the English king, resulting in de Livet's imprisonment for five years in England. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431 in this city, where most inhabitants supported the duke of Burgundy, Joan of Arc's king enemy. The king of France Charles VII of France recaptured the town in 1449.

The city was heavily damaged during World War II on D-day and its famed cathedral was almost destroyed by Allied bombs. During the Nazi occupation, the German Navy had its headquarters located in a chateau on the ESC Rouen (École Supérieure de Commerce de Rouen) campus.

More informations about the History of Rouen on the wikipedia:Rouen !


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The Beaux Arts Museum
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Saint Jeanne d'Arc's Church
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The Old Town
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The Cathedral
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The Astronomical Clock
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Saint Maclou's Church
Palais de Justice
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The Old Market's Square

More informations about the places to visit in Rouen on the wikivoyage:Rouen or you can visit the Official Webiste of the Office of Tourism !


Free Internet/Wifi Access

Here are some places where you can get a free Internet/Wifi Access:

  • Maison de quartier - MJC Grieu - Adress: 3 rue de Genève - 76000 ROUEN - Tel: 02 35 71 94 76
  • CRIJ de Haute-Normandie - Cyber-Infos - Adress: 84 rue Beauvoisine - 76000 Rouen - Tel:
  • Espace Créations Numériques - MJC Rive Gauche - Adress: Association Rouen Cité Jeunes Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture Rouen Gauche Place des Faïenciers 76100 ROUEN - Tel: 0232815360
  • Cyber-base Région Haute-Normandie - Adress: 5 rue Robert Schuman BP 1126 - Tel: 02 35 52 22 65

Nice & Cheap Places to Eat



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There are about 150 Couchsurfers in Rouen and its area. You can check the CS Group of Rouen or simply a couchsearch to find and contact them.

The CS City Ambassador of Rouen is Bob.


There are sometimes some meetings organised in Rouen, just check the CS Group of Rouen to see what happen in the city and/or the Regional CS Group of Haute Normandie (Upper Normandy) to see if there is any event in the area.

Coffee or a Drink

Here is a list of persons who are ready to have a drink with you and/or show you the city:



How to get to Rouen

  • By Carpooling:

You can find a driver or passenger to share the ride and cut on travel cost. In France carpooling is very popular and is called "covoiturage".
Try to get to Rouen.

  • By Car:
  • By Plane:
  • By Train:


Here is the Official Website of the Common Transportation's Network in Rouen.


On this Website, they propose to rent a bicycle for 1€ a day !


  • Police Station : 17
  • Health Urgency : 15
  • Fireman Station : 18
  • European number for all kind of emergencies : 112
  • Anti-poison center : 02 35 88 44 00 (+33 2 35 88 44 00)
  • Emergency Doctor (SOS Médecins 76) : 02 35 03 03 30 or 0 810 635 910 (+33 2 35 03 03 30 or +33 8 10 635 910)
  • Hospital:

Hopital Charles Nicole See localisation on Google Maps
1, rue Germont
76000 Rouen

Adult Emergencies : 02 32 88 82 84 (+33 2 32 88 82 84)
Kid Emergencies : 02 32 88 80 29 (+33 2 32 88 80 29)

Hopital Saint Julien See localisation on Google Maps
2, Rue Danton
76140 Petit Quevilly

Adult Emergencies : 02 32 88 65 65 (+33 2 32 88 65 65)

Clinique de l'Europe See localisation on Google Maps
73 Boulevard de l'Europe
76100 Rouen

Adult Emergencies : 02 32 18 11 69 (+33 2 32 18 11 69)

Clinique Saint-Hilaire See localisation on Google Maps
2, Place St Hilaire
76000 Rouen

Heart problems Emergencies : 02 35 08 66 10 (+33 2 35 08 66 10)

  • Embassy:


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Here is the first article about CS community in Rouen. You can find it in the last "Rouen Magazine" (n°286 : 25/04/08)
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Paris Normandie, Local Newspaper, July 7th 2009